B i o g r a p h y

Julianna Nickel is a very active recitalist, teacher, and freelancer in the Washington, DC, and Virginia areas. She is Adjunct Professor of Flute at George Mason University and is a two-time recipient of Mason’s Distinguished Teacher of the Year  (2019, 2017). 


Julianna is principal flute with the American Festival Pops Orchestra, a substitute with the Washington National Opera, a frequent substitute with the Manassas Ballet Orchestra, and a regular performer on the In Your Neighborhood Series presented by the National Symphony Orchestra each January.  She has played chamber recitals in venues across the region including The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, The National Institute of Health, the Alden Theater, historic Mount Vernon, Salisbury College, and George Mason University.  Recently, Julianna has enjoyed working with the Boulanger Initiative in chamber recitals Since moving to the DC area, Julianna has also performed as a soloist with the American Festival Pops Orchestra, the George Mason University Symphony Orchestra, and the Landon Symphonette. She will solo with George Mason’s Wind Symphony in the Fall of 2019. Additionally, Julianna is the Director of the Mason Community Arts Flute Camp that takes place each summer.


Formerly, Ms. Nickel was the Principal Flutist with the Evansville Philharmonic and Piccoloist with the Durango Music Festival. In Texas, She was also Principal Flutist of the Plano and Irving Symphony Orchestras. She has performed as a substitute player with the Mariinsky Theater Orchestra, the Washington Ballet Orchestra, the Washington National Opera, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and the Florida Orchestra.


Julianna has adjudicated many competitions along the east coast, and has presented master classes at National Flute Association, the Mid-Atlantic Flute Convention, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Flute Day, the West Virginia Flute Symposium, and the Richmond Flute Fest.  Additionally, Julianna has performed at four National Flute Association conventions in the recent past. 


Julianna maintains a large flute studio at Mason producing successful performers, teachers, art administrators, and technology specialists that are employed across the world. In addition to teaching at Mason, she maintains a dynamic studio of adult flutists. Ms. Nickel’s first teaching position was Flute Professor at the University of Evansville, Indiana. She also taught for the summer programs at the Kinhaven Music Schools in Weston, Vermont, and the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival in South Africa. 


Ms. Nickel’s GMU and adult students are highly successful in local and national competitions. Four Mason students have won master class spots at various National Flute Association Conventions. Members of her studio have been selected as winners in the Collegiate Competition, the Masterclass  Performers Competition, and the Adult Amateur Competition at Mid-Atlantic Flute Fair. For all but one of Ms. Nickel’s nine years at Mason, her students have won spots in the University’s Concerto Competitions for the orchestra and wind ensemble. At the end of every school year, many Nickel studio members perform in the Mason Honors Recital.


Two students from the Nickel studio were selected as International Scholars in 2017 to travel to Costa Rica as part of Mason collaboration with Mason’s Potomac Arts Academy and Costa Rica’s music system, SINEM.  They  participated in an arts-based outreach program for Costa Rica’s challenged areas. 


Julianna attended the New England Conservatory Music where she received both her Bachelors and Masters of Music. Her teachers were Paula Robison, Fenwick Smith, and Leone Buyse. While at NEC, she was Principal Flute and Personnel Manager of the Gardner Museum Orchestra, a frequent Principal Flutist with the Vermont Symphony, and second flutist with the Boston Philharmonic. Ms. Nickel was a Tanglewood Fellow.  She also won spots in the prestigious National Repertory Orchestra and the National Orchestra Institute.  She spends two summers at the Aspen Music Festival where she soloed with their Chamber Orchestra.


Ms. Nickel grew up in Austin, TX.  As a high-schooler, she soloed with the San Antonio Symphony and the Central Texas Orchestra. Julianna is married to James Nickel, a French Horn player with the National Symphony Orchestra, and is the proud mom of Kathryn and Jonathan.  Kathryn is a teenager pursuing all things related to her musical theater dreams. Jonathan, age 11, loves the piano, competitive swimming, and baseball.

Marian Lozano Photography

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